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Contact: Jennifer Miller and Elizabeth Goodsitt, DHS communications specialists or 608-266-1683

DNR And DHS Issue Do Not Eat Advisory For Deer Liver In Five-Mile Area Surrounding JCI/Tyco Site In Marinette

A map of Marinette and Peshtigo Following DNR findings of PFAS in deer liver in Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities, DHS has issued an advisory against the consumption of deer liver from animals harvested with five-mile radius of JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released a report today detailing findings of PFAS in the liver of deer harvested and analyzed from the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center in Marinette, Wis.

Following this announcement, the DNR and Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) issued a Do Not Eat advisory for the liver from deer harvested within 5 miles of the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center (FTC). This includes areas of Marinette, Peshtigo and surrounding communities. The FTC is located at 2700 Industrial Parkway, Marinette.

Due to high interest from the community, the DNR conducted a study on PFAS levels in deer from the JCI/Tyco Fire Technology Center in Marinette. Twenty deer were harvested and tested for PFAS levels in muscle (venison), heart and liver tissues.

PFAS levels in muscle (venison) and heart tissue were either very low or not detected. For those who eat venison from deer harvested within the five-mile advisory area, the muscle (venison) and heart of white-tailed deer are not likely to result in significant PFAS exposure, according to the DNR’s findings. Therefore, the DNR and DHS have not issued a PFAS-based consumption advisory for muscles or hearts of deer from this location.

However, significant PFAS levels were found in deer liver tissues. The liver filters chemicals from the blood, and some chemicals, like PFAS, can accumulate in the liver over time. These findings suggest that eating liver from deer in this area is likely to result in significant PFAS exposure. The Wisconsin DHS and DNR recommend people not eat liver harvested from deer within the advisory area. Further investigation of PFAS in deer from other locations is under consideration.

“We want to be clear that people should feel comfortable eating venison from deer they’ve harvested near this area," said Tami Ryan, DNR wildlife health section chief. "We just advise they do not consume the liver.”

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are man-made chemicals used in industrial processes and manufactured products. PFAS don’t break down easily and can remain for a long time in the environment where people can be exposed to them. PFAS can accumulate in the human body slowly over time through repeat exposure. High levels of PFAS in the body are harmful to human health, especially to the health of pregnant women.

Visit the DHS PFAS webpage for more information on the effects of PFAS on human health. More information on PFAS in the Marinette area and information on safe consumption of wild game are available on the DNR website.